Specialist, Expert, or Master – Which One Are You? (part 3)

Alright, so today is the part three of a three part series on what should you call yourself. Should you call yourself a specialist, an expert, or a master? We had an interesting discussion on Facebook because I saw a speaker who basically said that if you want to be an expert, call yourself an expert and nobody will question you. And I questioned that immediately and I sent that out to everybody online and got some interesting debates and in one of the things that I heard a lot of people saying was that they felt that it was arrogant to call yourself an expert or righteous, and all sorts of words. So yesterday I shared with you my thoughts on that, which is as long as you’ve earned the right to be an expert, which would probably be twenty-plus years of experience in the business, whatever the business that might be, well then you can probably back it up with the claim and that’s not a problem.

But the phrase that I do have a problem with, anybody calling themselves is a master at anything. That’s one of the reasons why I actually got out of NLP is I was just kind of disgusted by the terminology, you know, they have, you can go to a two-week seminar and call yourself a master practitioner and then there’s a master trainer title which I earned, but frankly I never really claimed too much on that title simply because I don’t think that anybody could be awarded that title master by, I don’t know, it just to me it seems a little bit off.

Here’s how I look at that. The only people that I know who call themselves a master in anything, and I don’t know anybody right now offhand, would probably be somebody who has at least fifty-plus years experience in whatever it is that they do. I think that like grandmaster martial artist, people who’ve been in it from birth all the way up and they’re in their golden years and those people proudly wear that badge as a master and I think that’s okay. But you know what, for anybody in the speaking business to call themselves a master, who is not got a lot of gray in their hair is probably a little bit of a bull claim.

I’ve been doing this for over twenty-four years. I wouldn’t even begin to consider myself a master in this, but I do consider myself an expert and I’m more than just a specialist. So I think those are your three tiers. I think you should look at yourself as if you’ve been in the business less than twenty years in anything you’re probably a specialist. More than twenty years, you’re an expert. And then, over fifty, if you want to call yourself a master go for it, but I think in many respects when people get to that level they don’t need to give themselves that label anyway.

Alright, so I hope that helps, hope you enjoyed that. If you’d like to get some more tips on professional public speaking, make sure you head over to http://www.facebook.com/professionalspeaking, subscribe or “like” that page and then you get updated every time we have a new article or a new blog and of course you can lots more online speaker training tips at http://www.bulletproofspeaking.com and get my free e-book called “Professional Speaking Secrets of Topher Morrison.” You’re going to love it, you’re going to be glad that you did.

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